Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Blue Blue
by Brandy Wehinger
Random House

Supplied for review by Random HouseNew Zealand

Reviewed By: Jan Butterworth

It first started in Australia, a tourist became a zombie and soon others were infected. The country was soon desolate of humans and the infections spread worldwide, forcing humans to fight for survival. Communities were formed that lived high above the ground – zombies can’t climb – and some people became Gunslingers, defending humans and killing zombies.

Katie is a Blue, a rare half-zombie/half-human hybrid. She has been alone for decades since the zombie infections started. The regular zombies leave her alone as she doesn’t have a heartbeat. She saves Elliot, the son of a community leader, from certain death and he falls for her, leaving to be with her. Furious his son consorted with a zombie, the father orders him to be hunted down by Gunslingers and returned to face judgement.

Xavier lives in a community nestled in the treetops, where his best friend is Jessy, the daughter of two Gunslingers. He is asked to write to Rose, Elliot’s sister, to get to know her before their arranged marriage. Jessy leaves the treetops and is trained to become a Gunslinger, finding a friend in fellow Gunslinger Virgil.

Lukas is bitten by a zombie and the treetops healer amputates his Arm to try to stop the infection. He changes to a Blue and slips away to wander far away. He is taken captive by Gunslingers who think he is Elliot. Katie and Elliot stumble across him and vow to rescue him but in the process Elliot is captured too.

The story is told from the points of view of many characters in short sections. The world is described well and interesting, most of the action happens at the end of the book though. It shows the corrupting effect of power and how if you treat someone as a monster they become one. I really enjoyed this book which was a pleasant surprise as I think zombies are icky. The romance was subtle, a relief as I don’t really want to think about human/zombie sexy time. I look forward to the sequel and finding out what happens.

The cover art is very striking, by the cult artist Misery.

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